Texas Rangers Spring Training: First base battle effectively ends in draw

Seth Carlson
Mar 23, 2021; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Nate Lowe (30) dives but is unable to catch a foul pop against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a spring training game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2021; Surprise, Arizona, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Nate Lowe (30) dives but is unable to catch a foul pop against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a spring training game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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One of the most anticipated Texas Rangers spring training battles has reached its conclusion in the waning days of camp.

That would the first base competition, which pitted trade acquisition Nate Lowe against former incumbent and Dominican Winter League MVP Ronald Guzman.

It was announced on Saturday that Lowe, brought to Texas in an off-season trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, would serve as the Rangers’ primary first baseman, while Guzman would make the roster as well.

This may not be the dramatic ending to things that fans were perhaps seeking, but the fact that the Rangers can carry both Lowe and Guzman on Opening Day is nothing short of great news.

The Condor will be utilized as a versatile bench piece, filling in for veterans in need of days off.

Ronald Guzman and Nate Lowe will both play for the Texas Rangers to begin 2021

This is truly the best possible outcome for the Rangers with respect to first base, as they get to keep Guzman after he came in motivated to win a roster spot and showed out with one of the best spring performances on the team.

Guzman has no more minor league options remaining, so Texas had no other choice but to find a spot for him on the roster or risk losing him to another team via outright waivers unless a trade could be reached.

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As for Nate Lowe, the spring was mostly a slog for the former Ray, but given the manner in which he was acquired, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Texas Rangers made room for him on the Opening Day roster.

You could say Lowe “won” the competition since he will be the starting first baseman, but both positional candidates will be in Kansas City on April 1, so it’s difficult to view that development as a loss for either player.

Reliever Josh Sborz, who the Texas Rangers acquired in a trade with the LA Dodgers before spring training, was also informed Saturday that he’ll make the bullpen.

The team is trying to piece together its relief corps in the wake of injuries to Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez, as well as to Brett Martin and Joely Rodriguez.

All four of those pitchers will begin the season on the IL.

Unfortunately, Andy Ibanez will not start the year with the big league club, as he was assigned to the alternate site.

Two more righties make the Texas Rangers roster. dark. Next

Ibanez will be eligible to make his debut this season, but he wasn’t quite able to outhit his noticeable defensive struggles this spring.

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